Since the acquisition of the SRAM, Myles knew it was time to sell cattle the way his producers wanted, in a manner that was fair to the customer and to the buyer, and delivering the most return possible. So Myles established a marketing concept called the “SHOWLIST”. This is not like a “PRESORT” where all consigned cattle are mixed in there same weight class and grade and breed. The SHOWLIST is basically promoting each producers cattle in their respective, individual lots, and displayed, catalogued and promoted to the buyers and public the best way we can. When we first started there was only 20-25% of sale receipts making it to the SHOWLIST, but today there is 80-90% heading to the SHOWLIST (per sale), to create these percentages like that, you need:
Grading knowledge and experience to package up cattle into uniformed lots
Myles has been in the business of marketing cattle for well over 30 years, and worked with his father in order buying cattle, and has purchased many cattle for Quebec and Ontario feedlots, and has a keen understanding of what the buyers are looking for, when packaging and sorting cattle for their representative feedlots. And also understands what the market is looking for at that particular week.
Pens and sorting alleys have to be physically structured for the show list:
In the past 10 years we have improved feed and water pens, restructured holding pens, improved sorting alleys, and completely changed the unloading and sorting process before each sale. Also, updated the grading area, for quick and easy tasks for cutting and grading (hydraulic doors, new single alley cutting area, restructure scale area) .
New and advance computer program
10 years ago, we started with a blank sheet of paper, now with Myles’s knowledge of computers, and working with a computer code programmer, we have personally made a computer program that is specifically made for the show list program.
Employees that will work with this program in a positive manner
This area is very important, as this concept took a while for the sorters absorb what has to be done. It is a lot more work, with another 2 more stages of sorting each consignor’s cattle, than placing cattle on feed or holding pens before each sale. Also, the same amount of employees to prepare for each sale, compared to the sale itself. So, if your sorters don’t like the concept, you’ll have a hard time getting the right amount of cattle for the show list. If they acknowledge the benefit, and everyone works together, and the cattle are right, there should be no problem getting higher numbers for the showlist.
Have to be in an area with a lot of well managed cattle, and larger based cow herds
The SRAM is in an area the borders grain land and a lot of marginal land around lakes, that is primarily used for pasture land. Ste. Rose du Lac, has been inducted as the “Cattle Capital of Manitoba” and there is many well managed, sizable cow herds in a 90 mile radius. Having access to these cattle will make the show list work. Area’s with a lot of smaller cow herds will be a struggle making the showlist work.
Have an abundance of front row order buyers
SRAM had been in business since 1978, and have an excellent relationship with our order buyers that attend our sale on a weekly basis. These buyers represent feedlots all across Canada, and parts of the USA. On large sale, we’ll have 6-10 buyers on our front row. These buyers have enjoyed the showlist concept, and have nothing but positive reviews on it.
With the changing in how we have to market cattle (or any product) you have to change with the times, and adapt or you will not survive. This takes a lot more work than it did many years ago, but ranchers also have to adapt with the changing of the times with larger cow herds, less overhead expenses and diversification. With these changes both the SRAM, and their customers, we should progress into the 21 century, and be prepared as to what lies ahead.
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